5 Common Mistakes That Undermine Your Small Business Marketing Efforts
Believe me when I say that marketing a small business is no easy task, no matter what field you are in. For many, day-to-day tasks can take all day long, leaving little or no time at all to get the marketing together for your business. Because of this time-crunch, many businesses make simple mistakes that could cause huge problems down the road. Here is a list of 5 marketing mistakes that many businesses make than can be easily fixed to get you business on the road to success:
1. Selling Products and Features Rather than Benefits
Easy the biggest mistake that business make when trying to make sales is focusing too much on selling their products and not enough on selling the benefits of those products. Instead of just pushing your products and their features onto your clients laps, your marketing and sales focus should be on pulling new customers towards your business by focusing on the benefits you customer will receive from using your products and/or services. This will help your prospects paint a better picture in their mind of obtaining the benefits or your products. This will also help your create differentiation between your business and the competition and make you stand out!
2. Focusing too Heavily on New Client Acquisition
Way too often, businesses tend to focus too heavily on new client acquisition rather than marketing to existing clients. While finding leads and generating sales out of new clients IS important for growing your business, too many businesses tend to be in the mindset that new clients are the only way to generate sales.
What your business should be focusing on (in addition to bringing in new clients) is selling your products to your existing client base and turning new clients into return customers and finally into advocates for your business. The cost per sale on these clients are much lower than new clients because you don’t have to generate the lead, take the effort to convince them to buy from you, and pay staff for the time it takes to make the sale. Once you have these repeat customers you should focus your marketing efforts on turning these repeat customers into advocates of your business. There is no better way to generate sales than to have your customers talking positively about your business. If you can make your customers so happy that they want to share your business, then you will see your sales skyrocket!
3. Not Having a Strategic Marketing Focus
One of the worst mistakes that small businesses tend to make is the ‘spray-and-pray’ method. Many business try to blindly throw out as many ads as possible and reach as many consumers as possible and hope that something works. Not only is this method extremely expensive, but the fact is, you will not generate anywhere near as many leads and sales as if you think strategically about your marketing and streamline. By developing a strategy for your marketing, you will be able to focus your marketing on a select few target customer profiles and get the most out of the these profiles, rather than wasting your marketing dollar on customer-bases that simply aren’t in the market for your business.
To help businesses develop this mindset when it comes to developing a website, bMighty2 has actually developed a website development plan. This plan helps the business focus-in on who it sells their products to and what the best ways to reach those customers in their market are.
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4. “Do-It-Yourself” and Quick Fixes
Due to tight budgets and time constraints, many businesses tend to turn to “do-it-yourself” methods for marketing their business. This is especially true for marketing businesses online. There are countless websites and business out there that offer online marketing tools such as free website templates, email templates and pre-packaged websites where you just have plug in content and pictures.
While these services may seem like a quick and easy way to market your business online, the fact is, these quick-fix methods simply are not effective and can even damage the credibility and reputation of your business. Templates are very rigid and come with little or no opportunities to be creative with your website. You have to stick to the templates you are given and are not able to do anything past that. Many of these templates allow you to pick the industry your business and then pick from a variety of templates. While this may seem simple, typically the industry selections are so generalized that it is near impossible for some business to get a template that fits right for their business.
Do it yourself templates are becoming more and more popular and while this may seem like a good thing, it is in fact a bad situation for businesses that choose to go with these cheap websites. Because they are becoming more and more popular, more and more businesses’ websites are looking extremely similar. A business with a professionally developed custom website is much more likely to stand out against a cookie-cutter template website.
5. Looking for the Cheapest Marketing Methods
With any form of marketing, the fact is that you get what you pay for. So if you are looking for cheap and free solutions to your marketing, you can count on getting little or no results from them. Unfortunately, many business owners view marketing and sales as a secondary expense, and only spend only on marketing expenses when there is a little extra cash lying around. This is a recipe for disaster for any business. In every industry, the business environment is constantly changing, and this means your clientele will change over time as well. If you are putting all your eggs in one basket with one client base and thinking they will last forever, think again.
In order to sustain long term growth, your business should have devoted staff members to constantly be marketing your business. If you want your marketing to succeed, you have to expect to pay some money for it. For many business owners, spending money on marketing seems like a scary prospect, but in the long run, it will be much worth the expense with the leads and sales it will generate for your business.